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Arquivo para a ‘Information ethics’ Categoria

Vaccines and the delta variant

26 Jul

The number of people vaccinated in Brazil approaches 50% in the first dose (46.7%) and 20% in the total vaccination (17.6%) however the effectiveness of vaccines for the delta variant is being studied in the last week of the Institute Butantan started a study to see the effectiveness of CoronaVac.

The delta variant may cause a fourth wave, the warning is from the WHO, which asks that the measures of distance, use of masks and control of social gatherings not be relaxed.

Monitoring carried out in the country registered and located 145 confirmed cases of this variant in the Federal District and in the states: Maranhã, Minas Gerais, Rio de Janeiro, Rio Grande do Sul, Santa Catarina and São Paulo.

The death curve continues to fall slowly in Brazil (see photo).

An article published in the scientific journal New England Journal of Medicine points out that the Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccines protect against the Alpha and Delta variants, especially after the second dose, according to the article, Pfizer avoided 88% of symptomatic cases and AstraZeneca 67%.

The Department of Health of the United Kingdom (PHE in English) released a study made with more than 1 million people in risk groups and pointed out that with two doses the effectiveness of these two vaccines rise to 93% and 78% respectively, when treats people aged 16 to 64 years.

In the Netherlands, the government announced that it will re-impose restrictions on nightclubs, festivals and restaurants, these restrictions had been lifted in June, but the infection picture freaked out with 7,000 records of the disease in the last week, before the cases were already less than thousand.

The picture is a setback for Spain and Portugal, who wanted the resumption of tourism.

 

Accelerated vaccination and new concerns

19 Jul

Vaccination accelerated in July as was the optimistic expectation, the fall in infections and deaths is still very slow and the new waves of infection in countries in the region such as Chile and Argentina light a warning sign, Peru was already in high numbers and some countries in Europe, such as Russia, also show that the Epidemic is far from over.

Argentina reached on Wednesday (14/7) the symbolic mark of 100,000 deaths, high for a population of 44.5 million inhabitants, and entered a new lockdown, with results already containing the new high, the numbers in week fell again.

Brazil like Argentina reaches the number of vaccinated 16% and 11% respectively, while the first dose in Brazil reaches 44.5% and Argentina 45% (see chart above), the next numbers suggest greater attention to the possibility of a new ascending curve, it would be a greater expansion of the delta variant, climatic factors (Chile and Argentina are colder) or even a variant called lambda , and the effectiveness of the Russian Sputnik is questioned.

The lambda variant detected in Peru is frightening, called C.37, its preliminary studies indicate greater lethality and the ability to circumvent vaccines is serious. Researcher Pablo Tsukayama, coordinator of the Microbial Genetics laboratory at the Cayetano Heredia de Lima University, detected that the variant it is already 100% of the infected cases in Peru as of April 2021.

The lack of open data hinders the research, the Ministry of Health of Peru does not disclose it and Professor Tsukayama is one of those protesting this lack of access.

Another issue of concern is the lack of scientific data on the effectiveness of vaccination for the new variants, there are many people who make statements trying to compromise, but do not present clear scientific studies, for example, on new variants such as lambda.

One of these studies, reported by the newspaper El País on July 11, is by Chilean virology Ricardo Soto Rifo, who focused on the CoronaVac vaccine, the main one used in Chile, in a group of volunteer health workers who discovered that lambda presents “increased capacity for infection and immune escape against neutralizing antibodies”, the extent of such loss remains to be clarified.

Another study pointing out in El País is that of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccine, from the University of New York, pointing out that the results were “relatively lower”, but Professor Tsukayma makes a less than encouraging observation: “It is practically impossible to predict how a virus will suffer mutation”, but reducing transmission is possible through vaccines and this is effective.

 

 

Fall trend and vaccination in Brazil

12 Jul

According to the consortium of press vehicles, the number of vaccine doses in Brazil reached 83,794,712 for the first dose, while 28,108,088 for the second, to this value must be added 2,465,295 single doses, for a total of 114.3 million doses applied, it is expected to grow to maintain the declining curve seen in infections and deaths.

In percentages it means 14.4% who have already received either the second dose or Janssen, which is a single dose, while the percentage that received the first dose is close to 40%, this being important to contain the most offensive variants, the delta and the delta plus, which are already in the country.

It should be noted that clinical analyzes indicate that the second dose is needed for the new variant, and a wider range above 60% starts receiving the second dose, but the application of Janssen is the most optimistic because the number of can make the immunization grow.

When will we achieve so-called herd immunity that will allow for the relaxation of protective measures is the question we all want to know, Anthony Fauci, head of the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, one of the leading physicians in the efforts against covid-19 in there, it estimates that it should reach 70% of the population, but there are others who indicate that it would be 80% to 90%, as the biggest problem is the mutability of the virus.

Japan, which has numbers close to Brazil, 17% for the two doses and above 30% for the first dose, has already announced that there will be no public at the Olympics starting in a week, and the athletes’ trips will be monitored with all measures of protection.

At the pace of vaccination, all precautions are still needed, whenever there has been some relaxation, there has been an increase in cases and deaths, we expect the curve to keep falling.

 

 

A Century of Life: Edgar Morin

08 Jul

Today (08/06/2021) the French philosopher, educator, historian and geographer Edgar Morin, born in Paris as Edgar Nahoum, adopted the code name Morin in the French resistance.

The French newspaper Liberation, published on Thursday (3/06) some excerpts of its new book that will be released this week in France, “lessons of a century of life” (“Leçons d’un siècle de vie”, publisher Denoel), with some excerpts from the book, calling him the grandfather of all Frenchmen.

In the book Morin says that when he is no longer alive, he hopes that people will be able to “love each other and themselves, instead of continuing in this western regression marked by neo-totalitarianism in the making, and he does not fail to mention China.

When the world closes, and the identity issue becomes relevant, as it divides peoples, Morin, reflecting on his own origins, highlighted in his book, according to Liberation: “Everyone has the identity of their family, of their village or city, that of your province or ethnicity, that of your country, and the largest of your continent. Each one has a complex identity, that is, we are unique and at the same time plural”, it is not just a matter of “tolerating” but of “loving” the Other.

He warns that “human history is relatively intelligible a posteriori, but always unpredictable a priori”, recalls the 1929 crisis, the rise of Hitler and Nazism, the disintegration of the former Soviet Union and the attack on the World Trade Center twin towers , his reflections on what he called “Stalinia”, about which, according to Liberation, he wrote in his book: “My stay of six years in the Stalinist universe educated me on the powers of illusion, error and historical lies”.

However, he is far from being thought of as a conservative or even a reformer, he always dreamed of a structural change in humanity, which must start from a change in mentality, thought and culture, and also reflects on populism and religious absolutism.

Let’s wait for the book, as always, it will bring new reflections, perhaps even Morin’s confessions.

In Brasilia, the Center for Sustainable Development of the University of Brasilia (CDS/UnB) in Brasilia will also launch a book with the 15 best articles on Edgar Morin, already selected, in partnership with SESC/SP, supported by the Regional Chair of Complejidad y Condición Humana de la Universidad CLAEH (Uruguay) (the picture used) and EHESS/CNRS where Morin is an emeritus researcher.

At 100 years old, he still reveals a lucidity unrivaled at this age, and a unique vitality and wisdom, Félicitations Morin.

 

Being aware of Being and living with the essential

07 Jul

Philosopher Socrates’ phrase “the life that is not examined is not worth living” would not be a great success today, frivolity has given rise to what is not essential as a false need for happiness and an environment of pain and resilience clashes with this mindset.

One must examine in this context what consciousness is, and as hermeneutics asks, there is no consciousness, other than the consciousness of something, the phenomenological consciousness there is no dualism between subject and object, Being is seeking to examine the consciousness of something, whether it is concrete or abstract.

Social life requires some form of mutualism, being well and the Being does not deny its sociability, personal life requires examination of the Being, balance with nature, also with its own implies health, balance and this is not separate from interiority and capacity for personal reflection.

Pure exteriority leads to the unessential, performance, public image and personal self-worth are forms of exteriority that can lead to consumerism and exaggerated individualism.

Life and “examined the life” is complex, but living in essential change to simple style.

The essentials to live require few things: modest clothing, food and possessions can lead to a balanced and happy life, the opposite can lead to an excess of worry and stress.

At the other extreme, not having the essential can also lead to despair, there are the biggest and most unfair social situations, a society that does not care about this is out of balance and leads everyone to imbalance, even those who accumulate and become selfish and consumerist.

The consciousness of Being in the Hegelian view would be linked to Being-in-itself and for-itself is only in the form of perception, it is in the imagination, the intentionality of phenomena that denies other objects (external) or of itself (internal) and so this type of  awareness is related to nothingness.

Consciousness cannot be achieved without identifying itself with any being-in-itself (something in phenomenology) it is in it that it approaches in relation to another consciousness, this is because an action or choice as consciousness perceives in this relation the contingency and gratuitousness of existence.

Thus, this awareness leads to reciprocity, mutualism and an existence that is worthwhile, in the words of the philosopher Socrates “because it examines itself” and this vivifies it and moves towards fullness.

Pure exteriority is voluntarism and pure interiority is false essentiality and can be an escape.

 

 

Falling curve but slow vaccination

05 Jul

Despite the curve of infections and average deaths (see curve), the problem starts to be the second dose that is stable at 12% in the last week, we warn that the problem could get worse because the number of doses of AstraZeneca and Coronavac should increase because of the second dose.

The number of confirmed cases on Friday was 54,101 and the moving average of the last 7 days was 50,905 infections (in 14 days a drop of 30%), the number of deaths, although still high, is below 2,000 deaths, and there is no state in high, also the ICUs are beginning to be relieved, the most serious regions are around 70% hospitalizations, but in decline.

The controversies of expired vaccines, and the case of Janssen who had many vaccines frozen (they need a special temperature system of -2°C) but are safe, says the Ministry of Health, in addition and Belo Horizonte now also Campinas applied doses of the vaccine in homeless people, a commendable humanitarian measure, since this vaccine immunizes in a single dose and these people have difficulties with sanitary measures.

Cases of expired vaccines are being identified in several cities, some places like the city of Rio de Janeiro had wrong registration in the system, the situation is not out of control and in several cases a new vaccination is already being done, it is important to check with precision the cases where the vaccine was really expired, where there was a system error and the exact number.

The case of the purchase of the Indian Vaccine Covaxin became the center of the government’s political crisis due to accusations of corruption, the negotiation was suspended by the Ministry of Health and the purchase should be canceled, in addition to the politicians, the CGU should also continue with the investigation process.

The serious problem is the slowness of vaccination, we warn that in July, several factors could put the process in check, the need for a second dose, which upon arrival in the municipality is immediately available for vaccination.

The executive secretary of the National Council of Cities Secretariats in Brazil (Conasems), also explaining the case of expired vaccines, guaranteed that the vaccines arriving are immediately made available to the population, so the problem is Anvisa’s (Health Control in Brazil) this control.

Mauro Junqueira, the secretary of Conasems however clarified that it is not always possible to have direct control on the tablet or computer system, sometimes it is done on paper and then placed in the computerized system, the diversity of municipalities in the country explains this easily.

We insisted on the need to increase the production of vaccines for the month of July, the number last Wednesday according to CNN was 3 million doses of Janssen vaccine, 3.33 million doses of Pfizer’s immunizing agent and another 7.15 million of the AstraZeneca/Fiocruz product, total 13.5 million.

 

 

The Delta variant and suspected vaccination

28 Jun

A new variation of the Delta virus originated in India has appeared and is already spreading, called Delta Plus, the virus is more lethal and there are cases in several countries around the world, in Brazil a pregnant woman is the first reported case, she was 42 years old and died within days after contagion.

The growth of 30.6% of infections and 17.2% of deaths in Chile raised suspicions about the vaccination with the use of CoronaVac, social media media spread this news, since there 90% of the vaccination was done with this vaccine and Chile was an example until recently and there is still no Delta variant.

According to news reported by various press information centers (among them the AFP) this correlation is not true because the number of deaths is not proportional to the infection, and among those infected and dead are mostly not vaccinated, said Chilean doctor Vivian L Farias.

Another increase was in Russia, 20,000 new cases, with 7,916 in Moscow, the highest number of confirmed cases in a single day since January 24, when vaccination had not started. in the country, new restrictive measures are being taken.

The big problem there is also the distrust of the population, there are too many vaccines and not everyone is looking for vaccination, the restaurants are thinking of serving only vaccinated people and other measures can be taken in this regard.

Vaccination in Brazil will reach 70 million people vaccinated with the first dose, the Jannsen vaccine is starting to arrive in the country, it only needs one dose, it is highly effective and in Belo Horizonte the first recipients were homeless people, Pfizer sent more 936 thousand doses and reaches 2.4 million doses, 6 thousand liters of inputs for CoronaVac arrived in Brazil, giving 10 million doses.

In June, in the first 24 days, the average vaccination per day was 1 million doses, but because of the 2nd increase in demand. dose of AstraZeneca in July, it has a space of 12 weeks from the first dose, the vaccination may suffer problems, it is necessary to pay attention to this aspect.

As of June 20, the Ministry of Health had distributed 46.6 million doses of AstraZeneca for the first application (source uol), however, from July onwards, an equal number of doses plus those who will receive the first dose would be necessary. it would be necessary to almost double the manufacture over 21.3 million doses are the calculations of health agents.

The concern of the World Health Organization with the new Delta variant, which is already in 85 countries, is the fear that this new strain will be able to modify itself to the point of circumventing the prevention, treatment and vaccine measures available, the WHO president himself emphasized this fact (various press agencies, in the USA, news in CNBC and others).

 

The Delta strain and new dangers

21 Jun

The new Indian strain, called Delta by WHO, re-infects and can become dominant, it is 40% more transmissible and can present twice the risk of hospitalization, in addition the symptoms are deceiving because they seem more like a bad cold and people continue to come out, according to the English newspaper The Guardian.

This is prompting the UK to re-evaluate the easing date, previously scheduled for 21 June, which is now expected to be delayed.

Vaccination continues, however, the effectiveness of some vaccines is beginning to be put in check, AstraZeneca itself already admits setbacks in the third phase of tests, carried out on a larger scale of vaccinated people, some newspapers mention 33% but the official WHO indication is 63.09%, slightly above Coronavac, which is around 51%, and below Pfizer, which is 70%, but with the 2nd. dose the numbers are similar around 80%.

A breakthrough in research, done by Beaumont Hospital in Dublin, finally explained why blood clotting in patients with Covid 19 is high levels of pro-coagulation VWF (von Willebrand Factor) molecules and low levels of ADMTSS (a plasma protease which is anticoagulant) due to alterations in proteins in severe cases of covid.

Basil received a batch of 824.4 thousand doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine from the Covax Facility consortium that arrived at Viracopos airport in Campinas (SP), the first batch of this vaccine by the consortium, the others were purchased.

Brazil reached the sad mark of 500,000 deaths, with a number of deaths above 2,000, and with a number of infected at around 80,000, these are still high numbers, but the leap above 3,000 would mean a third wave that continues to threaten us.

According to the consortium of companies in Brazil, more than 63 million people received the first dose, totaling almost 30% of the population, and almost 80% of the available vaccines were used, it is believed that this number could reach 100 million and total close to 50% of the population with the first dose, a number that we reaffirm will be enough to hold the 3rd. wave.

It is necessary to redouble the care and avoid crowding, more rigorous isolation measures need to be taken.

 

 

Third wave, new strain and new medicines

31 May

While we are looking ahead to a possible third wave in June in Brazil, the numbers are still around 2,000 deaths, as we posted last week if falling could mean contention (a high rate of 78,000 cases, but deaths below 2 thousand) and if it reaches above 3 thousand the third wave has arrived and a new isolation protocol will be necessary (see the graphic).

Regardless of the third wave, there are already several cases of the Indian virus, the new strain, which arrived in Brazil without a strict isolation protocol, it will spread and this is almost hopeless.

The news of an Australian antiviral and an Israeli remedy, the latter MesenCure uses mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) isolated from adipose tissue from healthy donors, relieve respiratory symptoms in infected patients and reduce inflammation.

The Australian drug made by scientists at Griffith University, in collaboration with the American City of Hope Research Center, uses a technology that involves gene silencing RNA (siRNA) that directly attacks the virus’s genome and prevents its replication, the test so far it has been done on rats.

We have to keep trying to create protocols as the vaccination does not progress (21.5%).

The state of Rio de Janeiro tries to do a massive vaccination, despite not having enough medicines, the idea is to open the vaccination for the rest of the population, until now only people over 60 and some special classes like nurses, bus drivers and cops.

The state of São Paulo will test, but in two small municipalities Taquaritinga and Batatis, providing RT-aPCR tests and rapid antigen tests, starting with a vertical isolation strategy so criticized at the beginning of the Pandemic, Butantan will make a home visit in 2 thousand homes dividing each municipality into 11 regions called “clusters”, the idea of ​​networks.

It is, therefore, a test by sampling and the population that is not drawn can make a self-assessment through an application called Taina/GHM and answer quick questions.

 

 

The Trinity and Contemporary Christian Philosophers

27 May

Works on the trinity in Christian patristics include the work De Trinitate by Augustine, the Cappadocian priests: Saint Basil and Saint Gregory of Nazianzeno (image), João Damasceno and Tomás de Aquino, these from Antiquity to the Middle Ages, who worked at pericoresis in the Trinity.

I begin with a reference that I consider important for the adoption of phenomenological and hermeneutic thinking, the work L´Idole et la distance (1977) by Jean Luc Marion, he like others depart from Saint Augustine, but as a good hermeneutic he only wants to play “the Trinitarian game [ie, the Trinitarian pericoresis] ”that she take on the desolations including metaphysics, and take us to patience, work and humility.

It refers to pericoresis with a “dance” and desolations are the philosophical criticisms that the 19th century, in particular Nietzsche, made religion, especially the idea of ​​God, will identify that the idea that the death of God would bring to man the light, if we look at reality, we will see that it did not happen, we see a man without humanism, now in the horrors of a pandemic that does not yield and the danger of a civilizing crisis.

Hermeneutics due to its interpretative structure, transmission and mediation “do not refer only to the annunciation, to the communication of God with man, they define the intimate life of God himself, who, for this reason, cannot be thought in terms of a immutable metaphysical fullness” (in the work of Gianni Vattimo: Etica de la interpretación, 1991).

Away from Hegel’s absolute idealism, and advancing the idea of Trinitarian ontology, which began in the early twentieth century, authors such as Pavel Florenskij, Sergei Boulgarov, more recently John Zizioulas and several Italians such as Massimo Cacciari, Bruno Forte, Piero Coda and na Germany Joseph Ratzinger and Klaus Hemmerle, in France we have already mentioned Jean-Luc Marion and Michel Henry.

Piero Coda uses a category of the founder of the Focolare Movement, which is the figure of Jesus Forsaken to make his “Trinitarian dance” a daily relationship with all beings and thus recreates the Trinitarian ontology, which is able to establish a relationship between the Logos expressed in Jesus, and fully realized in his figure when already faint and surrendering the pains and sufferings of the cross, he no longer calls God Father, but only God: “My God, my God because You forsook me” says the biblical account, it seems parodoxy, a pericoresis with man.

Coda says: “in some way the eternal circulation of the love of the Three is communicated to us in history … its opening to the history of men” (Dio uno e trino, Edizione San Paolo, 1993, p. 141).

There was an understanding of this reality, but the hermeneutic interpretation has not yet existed.